FreeFrom food (food free of gluten, wheat, dairy, soya, nuts and other allergens) has become seriously big business in the retail sector, with the market set to grow to over half a billion pounds in the next three years. But, the rapidly growing number of those who either need or choose to eat free-from have long complained that, while good free-from food is now relatively easy to find in the retail sector, eating out free-from remains difficult and frustrating.
This is partly due to the lack of choice but mainly because so few people in the food service industry understand about food allergy and coeliac disease.
The new FreeFrom Eating Out Awards are designed to raise awareness of the opportunities offered to food service providers by the growing numbers of those either needing, or choosing, to eat ‘freefrom’.
The awards are being launched to coincide with the build up to the new Food Information Regulations (FIRs) coming into force in December 2014, which will require all food service outlets to provide accurate information about any of the 14 major allergens in the food that they serve.
The new awards will celebrate not only imaginative and exciting gluten, dairy and egg free menu offerings but good allergen awareness, both in the kitchen and front of house. Categories include:
- Restaurants and hotel restaurants
- Pubs and pub restaurants
- Cafés, coffee shops and take-aways
- Guest houses and B&Bs
- Not for profit services: hospitals, prison services & the military
- Food manufactured for food service
The awards opened for entry on the 27th May and will close on the 31st August 2014 with a shortlist being published in mid-September. The presentations will take place on 19th November at the FoodMatters Live Event at Excel.
"The success of retail free-from products illustrates how important Free-From options are. The FreeFrom Eating Out Awards are an exciting opportunity for this section of consumers. They will set a bar and encourage the pursuit of excellence across the industry."Antony Worrall Thompson, patron of the awards
For more information and entry visit www.freefromeatingoutawards.co.uk